, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 22 – Justice and National Cohesion Minister Mutula Kilonzo now claims that all the 2012 Presidential aspirants have failed to support national cohesion and integration.
Kilonzo said on Tuesday that he had been monitoring the aspirants, and that over the last six months, none of the presidential contenders had talked about the importance of national unity.
Speaking when he launched a National Cohesion and Integration training manual, the minister said it was critical for the politicians to focus on promoting unity ahead of the next year’s general elections.
“In Parliament when we debate the laws; when we pass the policies they are not there. They are out there ‘kutangatanga” (loitering) among the public, just saying we want to be president but they don’t even say how it will be done. They don’t even involve themselves in the calendar calculation, in the logistics, in the work that the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) is doing. They just run around!” he said.
The training manual was developed at a cost of Sh16million through partnership with GIZ.
“The entire exercise has been very expensive because of the many consultative forums that we had to convene,” said NCIC Secretary Michael Ndung’u.
“Lack of a training manual for National Cohesion and Integration Commission has been a great impediment to the social cohesion sensitisation process,” he added.
GIZ Social Justice, Reconciliation and National Cohesion Project Leader, Heidy Rombouts noted that promotion of national cohesion and integration was a crucial part of the country’s history.
“Kenya’s future will have to be anchored in nationhood; otherwise the progressive reforms on which many people work so tirelessly, they risk to be build into quick sand and no solid house can be built onto that and that is why this manual is so valuable,” Dr Rombouts noted.
“This handbook provides guidance to translate beautiful notions, concepts and constitutional aspirations into practise,” she said.
Acting Justice Permanent Secretary Gichira Kibara said they intend to begin the training with government officials.
“The reason is because if you don’t have the product that you intend to provide, why go and talk to customers? So since public service is what is supposed to be delivered by the public service, we intend to first be prepared to deliver those services by empowering the public service,” he said.
At the same time, the NCIC Secretary also supported a December election as opposed to August as stated in the Constitution.
“If we hold an election in August, we are likely to have public loss of funds through compensation to MPs for the unworked four months; we shall have some interference on the medium term expenditure framework government budgetary process and we shall have a lot of confusion and disruption that may arise out of the issues that are within the unfulfilled constitutional requirement like the boundaries issue,” Ndung’u said.